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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 20.0: VIVA LAS YEGAS! (6pm MST, SNW)

For the second time in as many nights, the Edmonton Oilers will be facing off against a Pacific Division rival to try and secure a four-point swing in the standings. Can it be done? We’re only a few short hours from finding out. 

After running all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first ever season, is anyone really that surprised that the Golden Knights have crashed back to earth this year? I mean, c’mon… All season long, I kept thinking that each and every loss was going to be the one that sent Vegas spiralling towards the bottom of the standings but it just never happened. Remember when the Oilers absolutely pummelled the Golden Knights 8-2 at home last November? I was convinced that that was going to be game to send our boys shooting skyward and the Knights crashing back down to the bitter, dark hell we ended up in. Instead, they just kept finding ways to win and ended up only a few Ws away from writing one of the best sports stories of all time. Fast forward to this season and the Golden Knights have come back down to earth, and look much more like the team I expected them to be last year.

Looking back at last season, Edmonton was one of the few teams to actually have some consistent success against Vegas (3-1 record), managing to outscore the eventual runner-ups by a combined score of 16-11 over four games. Outside of that one game, a 4-1 road loss in mid-February, the Oilers were able to put up all kinds of offence against the Golden Knights and I’m hoping that a little bit of that touch has been able to carry over. They spread the goals around, Connor did his thing, and we went home happy 75% of the time. All in all, the series against Vegas was one of the few overall bright spots that we had last year so I ended up clutching to those three wins more than I probably should have or is totally reasonable. With the way last night’s game in Calgary ended, the boys need to do something to brighten the mood around here because that loss was every shade of disappointing. I’m thinking actually playing for the full 60 minutes would be a good start.

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NUMBERS

OILERS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
RECORD 9-9-1 8-11-1
WIN/LOSS STREAK L1 L1
GOALS FOR 54 50
GOALS AGAINST 60 58
POWER PLAY 19.7 16.7
PENALTY KILL 75.0 85.5
AVG. SHOTS/FOR 31.5 34.2
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST 30.2 26.2
TEAM SAVE% .903 .899
CORSI FOR% 50.54 56.41
PDO 98.88 95.62
TEAM SHOOTING% 6.55 6.01
EXPECTED GOALS FOR% 52.03 56.86

Numbers courtesy of Corsica (fancies at 5×5)

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LINES

Oilers

Caggiula – McDavid – Draisaitl
Spooner – Nuge – Rattie
Lucic – Marody – Chiasson
Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
Gravel – Russell

Talbot

After last night’s game in Calgary, there hasn’t been any indication just yet about what the line combinations are going to look like tonight so I’ve kept things the same until news comes out. For now, what we know for sure is that Cam Talbot will get the start but that’s about it. But I’ll keep checking for news on the bus ride home and update things as news comes out.

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Golden Knights

Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith
Pacioretty-Eakin-Tuch
Nosek-Carpenter-Hyka
Carrier-Bellemare-Reaves

McNabb-Miller
Theodore-Engelland
Merrill-Holden

Fleury

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Vegas Hockey Knights:

Underwhelming. That’s the one word that sums up the Vegas Golden Knights 2018-19 campaign thus far. The team isn’t buying into Gerard Gallant’s hard-working, three-zone style of play.

Vegas has struggled in all facets of the game, defending, scoring and goaltending have been average to subpar to start the year. And to make matters worse, the NHL’s newest team is banged up and filled with injuries. The club is missing Erik Haula and Paul Stastny to long-term ailments.

Luckily the Golden Knights have a lot of things working in their favor as of late. Vegas defeated the Anaheim Ducks in a 5-0 rout at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night. The victory stopped a two-game skid and improved the overall team record to 8-10-1. Sure that record isn’t impressive in the slightest. However, nearly the entire Pacific division currently sits in a similar position.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

Game Day Prediction: Back-to-back games? No problem. The Oilers handled the Golden Knights last season and they do it again this year, starting with a big 4-3 win tonight.

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Obvious Game Day Prediction: I am soooooo hungover after last night’s Nation Road Trip game in Calgary and will definitely eat two-four bags of beef jerky to try and get over it.

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Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: After landing in Edmonton early, the Golden Knights get their morning skate out of the way and spend the rest of the day at the Grand Villa Casino to try and make themselves feel more at home. They enjoy steak sandwiches and tip decently well.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/18/2018 – 12:00 pm MT


  • Lazarus

    Lots of talk today about how dumb TMac was last night, getting out coached, coaching for his job.
    I enjoy thinking about how every single Oiler fan was over the moon when they hired him..thinking they were getting an elite coach. Never wondering why the Sharks never accomplished anything

    • Arfguy

      In fairness, I think people were claiming the same thing about Barry Trotz prior to his Stanley Cup win last season.

      Alain Vignault has not won a Cup but has successfully guided two different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals. Pointing to San Jose as a team that is somehow “bad” is not something that makes sense, because they continuously make the playoffs while the Oilers have made the playoffs just once in the last 10 years.

    • Leichs

      We were more so just happy to get a guy with experience. Our coaches before that were unproven. Todd coached a regular season titan that was a perrennial playoff threat for like ten years straight. Same can be said about Pete, people were just happy to have experience at the positions. No one could have predicted that Pete would dismantle the entire roster and trade all the skill and speed away for slower players and cap space and use it to sign even worse players lol. And no one would have thought that Todd would be so bad at coaching rookies/young talent.

  • Rufio Barcoli

    Todd is a useless coach.
    Hopefully the player try their best tonight, because the coaching hasn’t been any help this year.
    I still can’t believe Todd has a job.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I dont agree with all your viewpoints but on this I stand in solidarity with you.

      One thing that really really bothered me last night was when TM benched Marody. Like WTF for? I didnt see anything that warranted it in his play, I dont want Marody to end up like Jesse with his confidence shattered, Marody has been really good in Bakersfield, if he is doing something TM doesnt like then TM or an assistant should tell him not bench the poor guy

        • Dallas Eakins Hair

          I dunno Alex, Woodcroft was part of the coaching mess here when they cleaned part of the house but TM escaped unharmed. Bakersfield is in the middle of the pack in the Western conference there, so record is a little better than TM’s

          I think the Oil would give the Job to one of the Assistants if TM was Axed tomorrow. I dont see the Oil looking for a HC till after the season if they fired TM right now.

          I dont think Woodcroft would be the answer to a new HC

  • Ko-D

    Edmonton needs another two season tallent re-load. Due to poor asset management. Probably needs to deal with the root of that problem to start. With a sprinkle of talented depth at all positions this team will be good.

  • OldOilerFan

    What did everyone think of that goal “celebration” by Draisaityl just then? Nothing. No high fives, players group together, nothing. No emotion, no fire up of the bench, nothing. It’s like they were playing the game was over yet there is still over 10 minutes to go….

  • CRONENBERG

    Piss poor coaching by Maclellan last night. What did he say to the team during the second intermission? That they were being too chippy and spending too much time in the box? We played rough and intimidating and were up 2-0 and then come out in the third like they’re all scared to start a fight and the Flames pounce all over it and win. Their comeback started as soon as the Oilers stopped playing rough.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      In the box I agree with too many penalties last night but being chippy and playing hard throwing hits is what the Oil needed to do, it worked for 2 periods.

      Remember the season when the Oil ran to the playoffs. They were hitting every team they played and they played hard, I believe that was one of the failures of last year was because we werent physical enough with taking the body to the man and throwing hits, I think the Oilers let it be known that it wasnt going to be easy game for teams they played, they got away from that last year and the 3 rd they looked tired, but You may very well be right that TM changed the tone of the game too much an it had an inverse effect on the teams play in the 3rd

  • Oscar

    Hopefully the Knights prevail here & put Chia & McLellan out of their misery after one win in seven most recently. Who out there thinks this is working … anyone?

    • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

      What’s the point? The problem with a team that sucks is that every practice is just practicing more suckage. It’s why our PP and PK sucks.

    • Randomfan

      Some people are so emotionally handcuffed to this team that you say anything negative and you get thrashed immediately. Its clear by now PC has absolutely fractured this team and have handcuffed them to bad contracts. There is no easy fix and oilers fans and organization should just own up to it that we sucked without mcdavid and we still suck with macdavid. There should be no shame in being honest. Lets press the restart button now. Otherwise its going to be the same shyte every year. Fans deserve better!

  • Oscar

    What a weekend. Flames beat the Oilers, Stamps win so will be taking over the Eskimo room for the Grey Cup & now the Oil are getting badly beat by Vegas. I live here why again?

  • Randomfan

    I cant wait for the day when bob and jack on 630 CHED finally run out of excuses and admit that this team sucks really bad and mcdavid is no saviour. Getting tired of them blaming the refs and schedule all the time.

    • Spydyr

      Anyone else remember when Pocklington tried to trade the entire Oiler team to Toronto for the Leafs and millions but the NHL laughed at him. Maybe we can trade the Oilers for the Seattle expansion team. Katz did threaten to move the Oilers there.

  • camdog

    Calgary would be running away with division if they had that goaltending from the start of the year. Thing with the Oilers is their depth lines might not have been scoring but they weren’t going to get scored on. I’m not convinced this will be the case moving forward. In the third the forward group was a mess. Defenceman were putting the puck where it was supposed to go and the forwards were in no mans land. The entire forward group is a mess right now, it didn’t have to be that way.

  • Heschultzhescores

    Why are we always talking about the Oikers being tired? These are young men in their prime
    They should be able to play back to back with an hour break for lunch. The excuses need to stop! Either you have the goods or you’re not good enough. That goes for the players and every player in the Oiler’s management team. Time for no excuse hockey!

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I’ll say this. I was fine with Lucic on the top line…until Calgary got on the board. THAT is when I would’ve swapped back to the lines that got us goals.

  • GK1980

    That pathetic effort by Edmonton in the 3rd still makes me sad. I used to think this team is better but I’m starting to doubt it. Secondary scoring or lack of will end their season early.

  • slats-west

    After a game like last night where you had one slip away and dint get 1 point you need your ‘Tender to steal one. Cam? …….Maybe let’s take small steps don’t let the first shot in!

  • Arfguy

    That third period last night? Disaster.

    Hopefully, Todd realizes that Lucic is more of a hitter these days than a scorer and goes back lines with speed. I am looking forward to when Rieder comes back so we have more options on the left wing for speed.

    Right now, I am hoping that those line combinations in the article are accurate and stick for a while.

  • jesse says yep

    Why must someone always light the bandwagon on fire just to jump off? Get off, stay off and find something that makes you happier cuz hockey doesn’t seem to be your thing.